424 - 07/05 - Orders under Pilotage

The Club would like to highlight to Members a case where a ship ran aground on a mud/sand patch just south of Bradleys Head light in the middle of Sydney Harbour. When the ship came to an intended course alteration position in the harbour east of Bradleys Head, the pilot initiated the turn to starboard to round the headland. He firstly ordered 5° starboard rudder and then, when the ship did not respond quickly enough, he increased the order to starboard 10°. The rate of swing increased markedly and so the pilot ordered port 20° to slow the swing. The seaman on the wheel confirmed the order as port 20° and instead applied starboard 20° wheel. Before the consequences of this error could be corrected, the ship ran aground on a mud/sand patch just south of the light on the southern end of the headland.

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Thomas Miller

Date24/03/2009

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